More on Malibu vs. Paparazzi

malibumayoru.jpgMalibu Surfside News is reporting that though Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich has said the city is not drafting new laws to restrict the paps, “the texts of five ordinances that do just that are included in a one-foot-thick stack of documents compiled for her by faculty and staff at the Pepperdine School of Law.”

As you all no doubt recall, tensions between Malibu residents and the paps have been in the news all summer, and an arraignment is expected on Oct. 14 for two surfers charged with beating up a pap who was trying to shoot Matthew McConaughey.

The Society of Professional Journalists got in the game late last week, with a press release expressing concern for paps’ behavior, but denouncing the mayor’s actions:

We are alarmed by the process and product of efforts by Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich to draft an anti-paparazzi ordinance.

The process was conducted largely in private, in possible violation of open meeting laws, by a group at the Pepperdine Law School. The product, as revealed this week, includes five draft ordinances that appear to raise serious constitutional issues and restrict not only the activities of so-called paparazzi, but all journalists.

We share Mayor Conley Ulich’s concern for excesses committed not only by the paparazzi, but any news gatherer. But we, along with major segments of law enforcement, believe there are adequate laws on the books right now which if properly enforced could contain reckless activity by any member of the media.